Some people opt to deal with stress the healthy way, by tackling the issues in their life causing stress or even seeking outside counsel to deal with things when these issues are simply too large or daunting to tackle alone. The third option is to skirt the line between actual and simulated violence. The fourth, hidden option, is to have a go at downloading Stress Baal. It’s a simple concept that involves taking out your frustrations on Stress Baal, a small, devil-like character who exists to take your beatings, and who most definitely deserves to do so on a daily basis. Though it doesn’t have the depth of some stress-busting game series like Beat the Boss, Stress Baal’s simplicity makes it the perfect title to act as your virtual Stress Ball.
Better than a Stress Ball
There’s not technically any gameplay to speak of as such here, but rather the happenings that take place on the screen as a result of you interacting with it. You’re presented with nothing but a blank white screen and Stress Baal himself sitting at the bottom of it. He looks rather cute in all honesty, with a bright red cylindrical body, huge beady eyes and snaggly teeth. He has some base animations that see him pacing on the bottom of the screen, snarling frequently as he does so as if he’s waiting for you to get involved with the action.
The precise nature of the action is really up to you as well. There’s no intro or tutorial as such, rather the game lets you figure out what you have to do for yourself. You soon figure out that it’s a matter of swiping in various directions on the screen in order to send Stress Baal flying about. He usually sticks to the surface that you fling him against, though this doesn’t always happen. There seems to be a large quantity of unique animations governing the behaviour of this little red character (who’s even got his own Blog), each varying according to precisely what you do with him.
The mechanics of the game couldn’t be simpler. Your job, as is stated in the “About” section of the game (located on the simple menu) is to take out your frustration on Stress Baal. Among other things, you can flick the screen to fling him violently against the top of the screen as well as the sides. You can also use the gyroscope sensors on your phone by shaking it, which causes him to tumble from the top to the bottom of the screen in quick succession.
So the mechanics really aren’t that complex when it comes down to it, but the number of animations you will discover is quite substantial. How Stress Baal reacts to certain swipes and flicks varies substantially. Sometimes he will stick to the side of the screen, and others he will fall back to the ground. Occasionally he puffs himself full of air and floats around until you bash him against something, and others he falls back down to the bottom and curls up in the shape of a turd (or soft-serve ice cream if you prefer a less crude description). It’s really up to you to decide what to do with him.
If Stress Baal weren’t so simply yet impressively designed, its appeal wouldn’t even be half of what it currently is. The app is outrageously simple and stripped-back. There isn’t a load of menu options, levels to choose from, characters to customise, or in-game currency barriers. There’s just a straightforward description telling you that Stress Baal is responsible for all of the world’s ills, and then the white room containing the creature himself. It’s simple, and it works. It’s kind of the opposite approach to the hyper-relaxing Pause App, but with a little more silliness and a much less elegant design.
If I had to criticise this cutely-designed app it would be its lack of perfect responsiveness to touch. Stress Baal seems to react to touches on a slight delay; it would be better if he reacted immediately to the touch, and if your touch would dictate his every move rather than trigger a slightly delayed yet obviously scripted animation. Apart from the lack of accurate physics however, Stress Baal from Double Flawless is worth downloading – it’s free, it looks great, and it’s a fun little pastime to de-stress when you need to.
Download Stess Baal for Android.